Does an employer have the right to approach an employee's GP for information about his or her state of health?
Can documentation relating to disciplinary warnings be retained after the warnings have expired?
Is an employer under an obligation to seek employees' permission before placing their photographs on its intranet?
For how long should an employer keep an employee or ex-employee's personnel files?
Does an individual who is no longer employed by the employer have data access rights, and if so for how long after leaving?
Is an employer able to tape record a meeting with an employee to ensure that it has an accurate record of the meeting?
In a TUPE situation, is the transferor obliged to give the transferee the personnel files of transferred employees?
In a TUPE situation is the transferor required to obtain its employees' consent before passing on information about them to the transferee?
Where an employer has been asked by the police to provide information on an employee will the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 prevent it complying with the request?
Where an employer has reason to believe that an employee absent on sick leave is working elsewhere can it arrange for covert surveillance?
Yes, although there are few good reasons to do so. While the Data Protection Act 1998 does not specifically prevent employers from holding on to such documents, the Employment practices data protection code (PDF format, 449K) (on the ICO website) recommends that employers ensure that there are clear procedures in place on how "spent" disciplinary warnings are handled.
One of the data protection principles under the Act is that personal data should not be kept longer than is necessary for the purpose or purposes for which it is being processed. An employer should consider why it is necessary to retain documentation relating to expired warnings indefinitely. As such warnings should not be taken into account in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings, it may be sufficient, and more appropriate, simply to keep a record of the warning instead of all the documentation relating to it. However, if the subject matter is relevant, for example to justify a discrepancy in pay levels, full records should be retained.
Must a mother’s employer obtain her consent before releasing information to her partner’s employer if her partner is applying for additional paternity leave?
Must a primary adopter's employer obtain his or her consent before releasing information to his or her partner's employer where the partner is applying for additional paternity leave?
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